03 Feb 2010:
Parkinson’s Disease Study
Highlights Environmental, Regional Risks
The largest epidemiological study of Parkinson’s Disease in the United States shows that the incidence of the illness is extremely high in many parts of the Northeast and Midwest
, strongly implicating environmental factors in the ailment, according to a new study. Based on data from 36 million Medicare patients aged 65 and older, the study found numerous areas in the Northeast and Midwest where 14 percent or more of the population suffers from the neurodegenerative condition, which causes tremors,
Click to enlarge
Washington University School of Medicine
Parkinson’s Disease hot spots in the U.S.
stiffness, and mood and behavioral changes. Many regions of the West, as well as Alaska, had extremely low rates of the disease, according to the study, conducted by physicians at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Allison Wright Mills, assistant professor of neurology at the school, said that finding clusters of the disease in the Northeast and Midwest was “particularly exciting” because these two regions are most involved in metal processing and agriculture, which produce chemicals that have been linked to higher rates of Parkinson’s. The study, published online in the journal Neuroepidemiology
, also found that Asians and blacks developed the disease at half the rates of whites and Hispanics, which Willis said may be because Asians and blacks possess genes that protect them from exposure to environmental factors that cause Parkinson’s.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.